Keys to Revelation- chapter 15
AUTHOR: Capoccia, Tony
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                        Keys to Revelation – Chapter 15

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York
International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 15:1  I saw in heaven another        [another great…sign] – Since the
great and marvelous sign: seven          first chapter John has observed one
angels with the seven last plagues-      amazing revelation after another.
-last, because with them God’s
wrath is completed.                      [seven last plagues] – The anger of
                                          God has been pent up until now, when
                                          it is about to burst forth.  These
                                          plagues are the last warning God will
                                          give to man.  Mankind cannot say that
                                          God failed to communicate His anger
                                          over their sinful ways.

                                          [wrath is completed] – These plagues
                                          usher in the final phase of God’s
                                          judgment of mankind on earth.

REV 15:2  And I saw what looked          [sea of glass] – Same glass that was
like a sea of glass mixed with fire      seen by Moses in Exodus 24:10, “..and
and, standing beside the sea, those      saw the God of Israel. Under His feet
who had been victorious over the          was something like a pavement made of
beast and his image and over the          sapphire, clear as the sky itself.”
number of his name. They held harps      This sea is before the throne of God
given them by God                        (REV 4:6) and simply speaks of His
                                          great glory and majesty.

                                          [mixed with fire] – Adds to the awe
                                          of our Mighty God, speaking of divine
                                          judgment proceeding from His precious

                                          [those…victorious] – The martyred
                                          dead that have been destroyed by the
                                          beast and his followers.  They would
                                          not worship the beast or receive his

                                          [held harps] – These instruments
                                          were seen in the hands of the elders
                                          in REV 5:8 and the 144,000 in 14:2.
                                          Harps are an instrument that pleases
                                          God and can be expected to be played
                                          all through eternity in praise and
                                          honor of His name.

REV 15:3  and sang the song of            [song of Moses…Lamb] – The Song of
Moses the servant of God and the          of Moses has been identified in the
song of the Lamb: “Great and              following two sections of the Bible
marvelous are your deeds, Lord God        EXO 15:1-8 and DEU 31:30-32:47.  But
Almighty. Just and true are your          here a new song is listed, and titled
ways, King of the ages.                  (REV 15:3-4) the Song of Moses and of
                                          the Lamb. 

                                          This song is a song of praise to God
                                          for His great and marvelous acts. 
                                          The song does not rejoice in the
                                          judgment of God upon His enemies but
                                          the righteousness of His great
                                          redemptive acts.

REV 15:4  Who will not fear you, O
Lord, and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy. All nations
will come and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been

REV 15:5  After this I looked and        [the temple] – The tabernacle of
in heaven the temple, that is, the        Testimony.  In the OT it was called 
tabernacle of the Testimony, was          the “tent of the testimony” and
opened.                                  contained the ark with the stone
                                          tablets from Sinai (NUM 17:7; 18:2;
                                          EXO 32:15; DEU 10:5).  It was the
                                          place where God met with man.

                                          This earthly tent was modeled after
                                          a heavenly tabernacle where God
                                          dwelled. In this verse, it represents
                                          the very presence of God.

REV 15:6  Out of the temple came          [Out…came] – Out of the presence of
the seven angels with the seven          God came the seven angels.  These are
plagues. They were dressed in            same angels mentioned in 15:1. 
clean, shining linen and wore
golden sashes around their chests.        [shining linen] – Like the garments
                                          of the saints, they represent the 
                                          righteousness and holiness of the
                                          wearer.  Their robes also denote the
                                          nobleness and sacredness of their

                                          [golden sashes] – These angels are
                                          servants of the God of the Universe
                                          and one would expect that they would
                                          be adorned with precious garments. 
                                          The sash was used in both the OT and
                                          NT times to hold up the long flowing

REV 15:7  Then one of the four            [living creatures] – Guardians of the
living creatures gave to the seven        Throne of God seen in (4:6; 5:6; 6:1;
angels seven golden bowls filled          7:11; 14:3; 15:7; 19:4) and they act
with the wrath of God, who lives          as intermediaries between God and
for ever and ever.                        these avenging angels.

                                          [bowls] – In REV 5:8 there were
                                          golden bowls filled with incense 
                                          which represented the prayers of the
                                          saints.  God now answers these prayer
                                          requests, for judgment upon sin and
                                          “His Kingdom Come” by filling golden
                                          bowls full of His wrath.

                                          [wrath of God] – Our God is a Holy
                                          and righteous God who must by His
                                          nature punish sin and all who fail
                                          to give Him the glory that He
                                          deserves.  Man can never “pay back”
                                          to God for the wrong they have done
                                          towards Him.  Torment and agony for
                                          ever and ever is what God has decided
                                          will satisfy and yet even that never
                                          will pay the price.

                                          The wicked with their free wills have
                                          willfully chosen to disobey God and
                                          have refused His grace in order to
                                          remain in their sin.  The writer of
                                          Hebrews said of God’s wrath, “It is
                                          a dreadful thing to fall into the
                                          hands of the living God” (HEB 10:31).

REV 15:8  And the temple was filled      [filled with smoke] – Symbolizes the
with smoke from the glory of God          power and glory of God (EXO 19:18;
and from his power, and no one            40:34; ISA 6:4).  The smoke here
could enter the temple until the          reveals the presence of God and that
seven plagues of the seven angels        He is glorifying Himself by judging
were completed.                          sin and a wicked world with the seven
                                          last plagues. 

                                          [no one could enter] – The glory of
                                          God was so dense and no one could
                                          stop His final judgments for the time
                                          for intercession is past.

Tony Capoccia
Box 130
Shreveport, LA 71110
Modem (318) 949-1456
300/1200/2400/9600 Baud

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